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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Traces of the Past

This is my second contribution to the Lost in Translation blog Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s topic is “Traces of the Past Y2-06,” which instantly reminded me of images I have taken of ancient standing stone monuments in my travels in the UK. I enjoy visiting sites like these because they stimulate your imagination, and make you wonder how these structures were used when they were first built.

The portal into the past is probably the most recognizable image, as Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination, located in Wiltshire in southern England. It is a neolithic standing stone circle that is several 1000’s of years old.

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portal into the past

Lanyon Quoit is much lesser known. Located in Cornwall, south-west England, this stone structure was once part of a dolmen, or ancient tomb. The stones that remain are a reconstruction of the original tomb, with many missing parts.

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Lanyon Quoit
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Windows

This is my first time entering an image in the Lost in Translation Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s challenge is the topic of windows, with some selective colouring.

My choice of widows is a shot that I took for its minimalist qualities. It is a single storey commercial building with black ribbed metal siding, and a window that was quite literally punched into the facade. The monochrome effect was almost there already, with the exception of a small green vase in one corner of the window.

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window with green vase
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Collectors Anonymous

I was scanning other blogs a few days ago when I stumbled across a blogger who has admitted to collecting photos of temporary barricades for over 30 years. He then goes on to describe in detail their material, form and function, just like one might describe other aspects of our built environment.

Last month, I posted my first collection of doors, and I was surprised to discover how many other “door” enthusiasts there are out there. Maybe we are all collectors of “things,” as well as thoughts and ideas, and it is just a matter of what we keep to ourselves and what we are willing to share with others.

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Cee Neuner also runs a weekly Odd Ball Photo Challenge, which may provide an outlet for bloggers to share some of their “oddball” collections. My images in today’s post are provided in that vein, although I don’t confess to having collected any of these items on an ongoing basis. More by accident than by intention.

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Transitory collection of items deposited along a footpath
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Temporary barricades
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Firehose connection with a high degree of difficulty
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Simple fire hydrant
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Perspective

Stairs are my subject matter this week in my submission to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week. Stairs and staircases are full of diverging and converging lines when you are looking down on them.

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I took these photos recently in the TTC subway system in Toronto. I have a colour version of one image on my Flickr site as part of my “Entries and exits” album. These stair views also remind me a little of an MC Escher print, except that these are real stairs and not surreal.

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TTC Spadina Station – Walmer Rd. entrance
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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: Signs

I couldn’t help but post a few images in response to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. The opportunities certainly are limitless! A common theme in my selected images is falling or going downhill.

Driving a car in another country can be challenging. Especially when you are driving on the other side of the road, and on narrow roads, such as in the Lake District in NW England. When I first saw the traffic sign in my first image, I had no idea what to make of it. Watch out for low flying motorcycles overhead?

I still haven’t got it all figured out. There’s a hill ahead – got it. There is no red diagonal across the round sign, so it looks like it’s OK to do something, but what is it?

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Steep grade ahead

This second image is from Ireland. The message is quite clear – the earth is flat and if you get too close to the edge you will fall off.

I am sure that there is a good reason for placing this sign here. Ireland can be a very foggy place, so if you can’t see very far ahead when you are driving down this road, maybe you would be in danger of falling off the end of the jetty. It probably happened to someone – hence the warning sign.

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End of the road

My third image is taken from a walk along the coastal path in Cornwall. We have done a lot of walking on footpaths in England, but the message on this sign will certainly motivate you to keep on the straight (not usually) and narrow (most of the time).

I hope that you enjoy these photos – please feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

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Danger of death
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Glass

When you think about glass, what is the first word that comes to your mind? Something like “fragile” or “broken”, quite likely. Maybe second on your list is “cleaning” or “washing”.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge for this week – Glass – I have chosen architectural glass as my subject matter.

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Many new high rise condos have been built in Toronto recently, and they typically have glazed curtain walls, so there is lots of glass everywhere you look. The following is a photo of a lone window washer – there is no shortage of dirty windows for him to clean.

One of the features of this image that I like are the contorted reflections of the surrounding buildings. Who said that windows are perfectly flat?

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Window washer, Toronto, Ontario
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

Standing among the standing stones at Stonehenge was an awesome experience. It was a crisp spring morning – frost was still on the ground – and the rising sun shone brightly. People have been celebrating celestial events here for thousands of years, and I felt connected with the spirits of past generations.

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Standing among the standing stones

Shadow

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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Music

I have found that one way to learn more about blogging is to follow other blogs. One new thing I have discovered is the existence of weekly photo challenges.

These photo challenges remind me of one of the pleasures of belonging to a camera club. In the camera club, you would typically have one or several topics for submissions each month. Some topics encouraged you to be creative about the subject matter, and then you would go out and shoot a few images to try and capture your thoughts.

Weekly challenges don’t allow much time for imagination, so I am thinking that most of the time I will be scouring my archives for a shot that matches the topic.

This week, I am entering Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge for the first time. Going forward with this and other challenges, I have decided to submit two images per topic – one image for my title page, and the other as my feature submission. This should increase my output of posts (depending on how I can relate to the assigned topics of the week), which I have learned is a good thing to do, in order to maintain contact with other bloggers.

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My choice for a Music image is a photo of a musician in the Royal Australian Navy Band, based in Sydney. The event was a naval parade through downtown Sydney. There were several bands, and crews marching from many RAN vessels. It was a big day.

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RAN Band, Sydney – in Sydney, March 2009